The leading Swiss watchmaker Swatch is manufacturing digital display watches under the iSwatch trademark since several years. On the other hand, Apple has registered the iWatch trademark in many countries including Japan, Russia, Mexico, Turkey and Columbia.
Swatch is not happy with this as it feels that the two trademarks iSwatch and iWatch are very similar and can be confusing. The company has been objecting to trademark authorities against Apple’s iWatch trademark registration. As Serena Chiesura, Head of Corporate Communications of The Swatch Group Ltd. told Watson:
“We assess the likelihood of confusion as given, the marks are confusingly similar. In all countries where the mark is registered, we go against it before.”
Swatch has not decided upon any concrete steps it will take as to how it will proceed in the matter. However, the company’s representative says it will “take any action and measures deemed necessary in order to protect its own brand iSwatch.” In the past also, Swatch has moved trademark authorities in the US for blocking other companies from using the iWatch trademark.
Although Apple has given no official confirmation, the US giant is rumored to be currently working on smartwatches or wearables and when they are finally out, they might be called iWatch.
Exactly how this Swatch and Apple dispute plays out remains to be seen. It will be interesting to see how Apple deals with the case. Apple might choose to go on the offensive to retain the iWatch trademark as its products are identified the world over with the prefix ‘i’- iPod, iPad and iPhone and it might want to give the name iWatch to its new range of smartwatches. Will Swatch be successful in blocking Apple from using the iWatch trademark?